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I am a Theravada Buddhist living in North America practicing the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition. My queries (regarding Theravada monasticism) are the following:

1) Can anyone recommend a or more than one bhikkhu monastery anywhere in North America that I can ordain in that follows the tradition of or a tradition similar to the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition?

2) Does anyone know if I would be able to practice (as an ordained bhikkhu) the tradition I am under (the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition) while in a monastery practicing a tradition other than my own (e.g. the Thai forest tradition)?

Thank you!

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  • Asker maybe doesnt have an active account currently as there doesnt seem to be any link to know if Asker will be likely to see replies – M H Oct 20 '20 at 15:06
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Good householder,

Sadhu, at first, for general desire in going forth.

Good to let go of consumer-behaviour at first place and approach ordination like a backpacker a new journey idea, or a worker his next holiday... good householder. One who closes the doors behind, at his home, with right adpiration, will be opened the gates by the Devas along his way for seeking the join the sages and trace the path to Unbound.

In regard to 1: Best ask Bhante Yuttadhammo, as he dwells in Canada, personally. Usually one approaches a Bhikkhu in proper way, and ask's for going forth. The rest would be careful organiced by the Bhikkhu, approaching the Sangha. He might ask if good householder has a Nissaya, teacher. So seeking for a Bhikkhu accepting one as disciple, is propably first to make. Generally it's not so straight toward homeless state to ask in regard of going forth in lay communities and have geografical, national (identification with home, house, group) preferances, wishes, as such is merely seeking for another home rather that desire the going forth, good householder. What does householder expect to hear from householders, or to household returned, in regard of going forth? Like to ask about work on the rice-fields in a city coffee-shop, or to google wikipedia...

See also: Q&A How to ordain as a monk of the Buddha?

In regard of 2: Usually traditions upholding Vinaya accept each other, althought sticking to wrong views can be everywhere a hindrance. How ever: it actually does not really depend on Branch or near relation but on personal Upanissaya with particular communities, individuals and kamma of beings is all different. So useless to make founded predictions. Good theacher, knowing one, knowing others, would know if fitting together in regard of Vinaya, way of conducts for pleasing dwelling for Sekhas.

Mudita and may good householder make good use of all his good condition and past merits for fast reaching security in the homeless - state.

(...and there is not such as "my tradition" idea on a journey to liberation. Good to seek for the Buddhas and Noble ones tradition, making such never ones own before it actually is by reaching Arahat-hood)

[Note that this isn't given for stacks, exchange, other home-binding trades but for release from this wheel]

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#2 I think you will more often than not run into issues over the long term if you live with people who train differently. The Mahasi system complete with 16 stages of insight and the path-insight & fruition-insight modes of development, that is going to be viewed skeptically and likely wrong training by most TFT.

If you really want to be a Mahasi system monk then it narrows down your ordination options a lot. Also most Mahasi monks, ~95% afaik, are using money and you should be prepared for that.

Thus if you are looking for a place in NA, where Mahasi system is held to be true, where they accomodate westerners and where monks don't use money, in this case i think this probably doesn't exist anywhere in the world but i am not sure.

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